New Page 2




P.O. Box 2228

Pottsboro, TX




        GCAD Summary: We believe that the Grayson Central Appraisal District is a broken organization. Throughout the legislated tax code process, GCAD's method of operation is to trick, cheat and confuse the property owner until finally they give up.

       There is very little actual appraisal going on. The notices sent to property owners are sometimes incomplete. The protest form has been changed from the state form to make it harder to "check the right box." Teresa Parsons the chief appraiser has stated that "GCAD has no repsonsibility to produce equalization grids." Negotiations with GCAD do not work. The tax code is ignored by GCAD. Recently a property owner took an appraisal to a GCAD emplyee for a reduction. He was told the appraisal does not matter which is simply a lie. Again, GCAD plays the number game by putting up roadblocks until the property owner quits.

       If an owner does makes it to an Appraisal Review Board (ARB) hearing, it is our experience that it is a kangeroo court; that GCAD's testimony will be over-reaching at best, pujurious at worst. GCAD's relationship with the supposedly independent ARB is one of director. If a property owner decides to take his or her protest to district court, John Ramsey as Chairman of the GCAD board and Teresa Parsons will make sure that their hired-gun law firm blugeons the poor protestor into submission. These legal fees (in our case over $150,000) come from county taxpayer money. Who authorizes it? The following story is what John Ramsey and GCAD did to our boat dock owners group. GCAD and Ramsey knew they were wrong; they knew they had violated the law so they hired the Perdue law firm to go on the offense and cover it up. The coverup went all the way to the Texas Attorney General's office.

        In 2007 Grayson Central Appraisal District ("GCAD") made an effort to add the private boat docks on Lake Texoma to its tax rolls.  Not knowing who owned what docks, GCAD made a Freedom of Information Request ("FOIA") to the Army Corps of Engineers for the list of dock owners.  The Corps made a mistake and gave them the confidential list.  GCAD then took the confidential list and made it public by adding the information to its appraisal rolls.  Based on this action by the Corps and GCAD, 180 dock owners filed a federal lawsuit against both GCAD and the Corps.  The lawsuit complained that the Corps had violated the federal Privacy Act by giving GCAD the dock owners' records and that GCAD had violated the Texas Public Information Act by making the confidential records public. Read the Whole Story.


         Both the Corps and GCAD settle the above described lawsuit with the dock owners.  This week (August 17, 2009) a settlement has been reached with the Army Corps of Engineers and GCAD in the federal lawsuit originally brought by over 180 dock owners (the number of plaintiffs was pared down to four for manageability).  The agreement also settles the various state cases which were pending with GCAD.  More information will follow but the Corps agreed not to give GCAD any more boat dock records.  GCAD agreed to (1) remove the dock accounts from the 2007 roll and issue refunds; (2) a 2008 and 2009 moratorium on adding any docks; and (3) once refunds are issued, GCAD agreed under federal injunction to remove all the Corps records from its system, forever.  GCAD may add docks back in 2010 but it will have to discover who owns what dock without the use of, and independent of, the Corps records.  Violation of this would be a violation of a federal court order AND STATE CRIMINAL LAW.  All the dock owners we have talked with are donating the one year's refund to help pay the legal fees.  This is 1/3 of the savings so far.  Forms for this will be mailed and emailed shortly.  Print out the tax refund form.


Linked Documents:

            1. The Original Federal Lawsuit

               2. GCAD Dismissal Order and Settlement Agreement

               3. Federal Defendant (Corps) Settlement Agreement

               4. Federal Defendant Dismissal Order

               5. Final Judgment


          Thanks so much to those of us that had the vision, did the work, licked the envelopes, and spent the 5,000 hours pouring over the data.  Renea Hicks and Scott Smith (our attorneys) get some credit; they kept listening. Feel free to comment and look for our refund forms both by email and in the US mail.


        Thanks again to all.  We are going to have a celebration in the next month or so.  A time and place will be announced.




Chronology and Events


**** Injunction Hearing set for Friday, September 26, 2008.  A hearing asking the court to restrain GCAD and the ARB from holding 25.25 (c) hearings is set for this Friday, 9:00 AM, at Judge Geary's court, 200 S. Crockett, 2nd Fl, 397th Court.


*** Thursday, September 18, 2008:  A lawsuit asking the court to restrain GCAD and the ARB from holding the 25.25 (c) hearings was filed in state district court by some 90 boat dock owners represented by attorney Scott Smith.  Read the short version of the suit.


*** GCAD and the ARB reset 180 hearings on the 25.25 (c) issues beginning September 30th.  Again, these were not requested by the dock owners, as required by the tax code.


** The ARB hearings on the 25.25 (c) motions were canceled by GCAD after GAW's attorney spoke with the ARB's attorney about who has the right to request the hearing.


** 180 motions to correct the 2007 roll (25.25 (c)) were unlawfully set by GCAD and the ARB for hearings.  Notices were sent to dock owners on August 11, 2008 notifying them of the 25.25 (c) hearings.  Over 180 were set for three (3) days.  The tax code states that only the property owner filing the motion can request the hearing (25.25 (e)).


** A dock owner was given an ARB hearing on July 16th.  The ARB ruled that her 2007 value should be reduced from $16,900 to $2,884.  They also ruled Lammers' use of the formula constituted a "clerical error" under the tax code.  There were also other rulings in the dock owner's favor.  One ARB panel member made the comment that some of the docks "were not taxable."  Someone apparently did not like the ARB ruling and had the ARB throw the whole 3 hour hearing out.  A new one has been set for August 20th; Scott Smith (attorney) will be handling her case.




** 185 DOCK / SLIP OWNERS FILED 2008 PROTESTS / 25.25 MOTIONS TO CORRECT THE 2007 ROLLS.  So far there has been no movement by Ms. Parsons.


** LAMMERS DEPOSITION.  GCAD appraiser Pam Lammers' deposition was taken in the Phillips and White valuation lawsuits.  A short time afterwards, she was either terminated or she resigned.  READ LAMMERS' DEPOSITION; in it she freely admits to using the dock valuation formula incorrectly, and presenting such as evidence in ARB hearings.  She admits she did not have the docks' year built and that she used the "permit date" for the year built.  It is very interesting reading.  As soon as we can, the deposition will be indexed and hyperlinked.


** A FEDERAL LAWSUIT was filed on April 29, 2008 in federal court in Sherman ON BEHALF OF 124 DOCK OWNERS.  The complaint is that the Corps of Engineers violated the Privacy Act when they gave our personal confidential records to GCAD.  It also complains that GCAD violated our Texas privacy rights when they made our records public in making appraisal records from the records.  READ THE FEDERAL COMPLAINT.  Renea Hicks, an Austin attorney, is handling this for the original plaintiffs.  Numerous additional dock owners have REQUESTED that they would like to join in.  Please read the lawsuit and if you would like to participate as a plaintiff, please E-MAIL. us as soon as possible.  The deadline to add plaintiffs is August 1, 2008.


** 2007 VALUATION ISSUES.  Following Lammers' deposition and her eye-opening (to say the least) testimony, all agreed the 2007 values were substantially incorrect due to "clerical errors" she made in the use of the formula.  Sample dock examples showed the docks could be overvalued by as much as five to ten times.


Phillips and White's attorney asked GCAD to remove the 2007 docks from the rolls and refund the taxes paid.  PARSONS (chief appraiser) REFUSED even though GCAD knows the docks are absurdly overvalued.  Our analogy has been that the people were caught robbing the bank with the money in hand and refused to give the money back; said they had the right to keep it!  This is given the fact that the Tax Code at 25.25 (b) gives the chief appraiser the right (maybe the obligation) to remove the error ridden values. 


** 2008 VALUATION ISSUES.  There is a major problem brewing.  The way the property tax roll works is that the 2007 roll values are automatically rolled over into being the 2008 roll values.  If the appraisal district does not change the values, notices are not required to be sent.  This would allow Ms. Parsons and GCAD to not send any notice and the next thing you would receive would be a 2008 tax bill for the docks 2007 values; and, there wouldn’t be anything you could do about it because you did not protest.


It would go like this: Dock Owner in December 2008: “I received this tax bill for $2,000 for my dock.  I was never notified.”  GCAD: “We were not required to notify you since we did not raise the values from last year.”  Owner: “OK, but weren’t the original 2007 values fraudulent and incorrect?”  GCAD “Well yes they were but that was 2007, this is 2008, we never changed the 2007 numbers and they carried forward to 2008 and they didn’t change so we weren’t required to send you a notice and you missed the deadline to protest.”  Owner: “But I never got a notice so I could protest.”  GCAD “We were not required to send you a notice, remember, and so forth on and on.” 



  1. TAXABILITY:  The docks are not taxable under the Texas Property Tax Code.  They are moveable and not affixed to land with any permanence.

  2. DOUBLE DIP:  The Corps already reimburses Grayson County for loss, of among other items, ad valorem taxes on the Texoma Lake lands taken by the Corps.  So, at best their tax is a "double dip."

  3. FEDERAL PRIVACY:  The Corps violated our privacy rights when they gave GCAD our confidential records including names and addresses.

  4. TEXAS STATE PRIVACY:  GCAD violated our privacy rights by making our confidential records they received from the Corps public.

  5. ERROR-RIDDEN FORMULASGCAD and their appraiser Lammers (1) used a formula to value the docks where she did not have the necessary components.  She used perimeter square footage instead of deck square footage AS A MULTIPLIER resulting in hugely overvalued docks; (2) used a forty year depreciation schedule instead of a 20 as called for in their own book;  (3) used a 40% residual when none is called for in their own book, and (4) Lammers did not have the year built so she plugged in the renewal date of the permit; this was at the most five years old.  ALL THESE "ERRORS" RESULTED IN HUGELY OVERVALUED PROPERTIES, SOME BY AS MUCH AS 90%.

  6. PERJURY BY GCAD AND LAMMERS in ARB hearings:  GCAD and Lammers knew of the faulty formula, knew of the depreciation / age problems and knew the "permit" itself was not taxable.  Yet, LAMMERS testified exactly opposite under oath in numerous ARB hearings in support of her "error-ridden" formulas, schedules and the permit's taxability issues.



DISCLAIMER: NOTICE: THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE ADVICE OF AN ATTORNEY. Although we have made a diligent effort to confirm the accuracy of the information we are presenting, we make no warranty whatsoever. Any opinions expressed here are personal. We are not representing that we are registered property tax consultants and we are not performing services for compensation.